Blog by Bill Singer Esq WEEK IN REVIEW

February 17, 2018

BREAKING NEWSU.S. v. Internet Research Agency, et al (Indictment, 18-CR-32, United States District Court for the District of Columbia) READ the FULL TEXT Indictment alleging that 13 Russian nationals and 3 Russian entities accused interfered with U.S. elections and political processes.

30 Months Of Violations Under FINRA's Nose ( Blog) 
There are times when the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority's regulation of its Wall Street member firms looks a lot like someone reading toe-tags in the morgue. As an exercise in explaining to us how someone died, that's fine. As an exercise in preventing their death, well, you know, it's a tad too little and too late. There are times when we need better written laws, rules, and regulations. There are times when we need more intelligent and savvy folks walkin' the beat. There are times when we need more adept prosecutors. There are times when we need more capable judges. The cohesion of the social contract depends upon the right amount of glue inserted at many points. As a recent FINRA regulatory settlement shows, there are times when self-regulation comes apart at the seams -- even if that failing takes 30 months to happen. The question is whether FINRA should be more proactive. The cynical question is whether FINRA sees its role as a hypocritical toll-taker or as an active partner in self-regulation.

Days Late and Dollars Short For Former Oppenheimer Employee ( Blog)  Being a day late and a dollar short happens. Be that as it may, those are not exactly words to live by. In a recent FINRA arbitration, a former Oppenheimer & Co. employee is representing himself against his former firm's demands for repayment of compensation. Rule #1 for handling your own lawsuit is always be on time -- and, of course, show up in court or arbitration with clean underwear. Those first impressions are very important. In today's featured arbitration, the Respondent didn't start off on the right foot. 

Gonna Take My Arbitration Problem To The United Nations ( Blog) Most of the time what fascinates me about a lawsuit are the facts in dispute. The whole he-said-she-said thing. Then, as we read about the evidence and testimony, we learn that what was black became white and what was clear became cloudy and what was the irrefutable truth became refutable and a lie. Sometimes it's not about the facts, however, and what entices me to read about a lawsuit is the process. There are cases that quickly come to trial and there are those that meander and digress and ramble. When we find ourselves aboard a detoured lawsuit, the scenery is often entrancing and the little side-trips may take us to lovely settings or dead-ends. Join the Blog caravan as we start out upon the interstate, get re-routed to a highway, take a detour along a county road, and wind up in a cul-de-sac from which we can't turn around

Emergency Surgery Fails To Remove Margin Call ( Blog) With the roller-coaster of a stock market lately, I suspect that a lot of public customers are going to get hit with margin calls. The complaints often explain that the brokerage firm sold 5,000 shares of XYZ at $12, which the customer had purchased at $11; and that sale was to cover the diminished account value caused by the ABC shares which were purchased at $3 and dropped to 35¢. The problem is that the next day, XYZ announced that it had developed the cure for cancer and the stock is now worth $1,000 per share but for the fact that the margin sell-out left the unhappy customer with no shares. Okay, that's all a bit over-the-top but if you talk to enough public customers about what happened to them when they got hit with a margin sell-out, their version of events sure as hell sounds pretty similar to my hypothetical. Read a recent FINRA arbitration in which a public customer relates his tale of margin-call woe.